Tanzania, 26 July 2014: Launch of the Shuga Radio Program in Southern Highlands
26 July 2014, IRINGA, Tanzania – TACAIDS in collaboration with UNICEF, UNESCO, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and other partners, today launched the Shuga Radio program at Samora Stadium in Iringa town.
Shuga is a radio drama series that promotes positive behavior change to reduce HIV infections among young people. The radio series is part of a multi-country public-private partnership initiative developed by UNICEF, MTV Staying Alive Foundation and the PEPFAR Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation to support national government efforts to reduce new HIV infections among adolescents and young people through mass media with the key messages on HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC) and safe sex practices.
According to the Tanzania HIV and AIDS and Malaria Indicator Survey (THMIS 2011-12), significant disparities in HIV prevalence remain. Girls and women remain more vulnerable to HIV than men and boys. A girl’s risk of contracting HIV increases tremendously – almost 340%- between 15-19 and 20-24 years. But while almost all young people aged 15 to 24 years have heard about HIV and AIDS, relatively few know enough to protect themselves against infection.
“If young people are well informed of HIV risks, provided with appropriate knowledge and skills on HIV prevention, and supported by an enabling environment for them to access and use friendly services, they have a very high likelihood of changing their behavior in ways that reduce their vulnerability. This makes for a bright future for Tanzania”, said Dr. Christine Ishengoma, Iringa Regional Commissioner.
The 12-episode series provides a view of the lives of a group of four young fictional characters aged 15-24. It tells a story about their choices, dreams, friendships, challenges and triumphs in a world where HIV and AIDS are an ever-present threat. The storyline examines a range of themes including HTC, condom use in stable relationships, positive prevention, gender inequality and sexual violence, transactional sex, alcohol abuse and the role of multiple concurrent partnerships in driving the HIV epidemic.
Shuga Radio program will complement ongoing HIV prevention interventions in the Southern Highlands by working together with youth-serving organizations to establish radio listening clubs whereby young people will be able to learn and discuss in peer groups. They will also be able to voice their opinions and provide feedback about Shuga through a free SMS platform – 15070.
Shuga Radio was first launched in Dar es Salaam in June 2013. The series will be aired every Saturday on Clouds FM, Kyela FM, Kwanza Jamii FM, Nuru FM, Kitulo FM, Sengerema FM, FADECO FM, Kahama FM, Pangani FM, Orkonorei FM and Pambazuko FM.
BE SMART! TEST FOR HIV AND USE PROTECTION
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